Stress inducement by physical exercise requires major cardiovascular adaptations in both adults and children to maintain an adequate perfusion of the body. As physical exercise causes a stress situation for the cardiovascular system, cardiovascular exercise stress tests are widely used in clinical practice to reveal subtle cardiovascular pathology in adult and childhood populations with cardiac and cardiovascular diseases. Recently, evidence from small studies suggests that the cardiovascular stress response can also be used within research settings to provide novel insights on subtle differences in cardiovascular health in non-diseased adults and children, as even among healthy populations an abnormal response to physical exercise is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. This narrative review is specifically focused on the possibilities of using the cardiovascular stress response to exercise combined with advanced imaging techniques in pediatric population-based studies focused on the early origins of cardiovascular diseases. We discuss the physiology of the cardiovascular stress response to exercise, the type of physical exercise used to induce the cardiovascular stress response in combination with advanced imaging techniques, the obtained measurements with advanced imaging techniques during the cardiovascular exercise stress test and their associations with cardiovascular health outcomes. Finally, we discuss the potential for cardiovascular exercise stress tests to use in pediatric population-based studies focused on the early origins of cardiovascular diseases.

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Pediatric Cardiology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bongers-Karmaoui, M.N. (Meddy N.), Jaddoe, V.W.V, Roest, A.A, & Gaillard, R. (2020). The Cardiovascular Stress Response as Early Life Marker of Cardiovascular Health: Applications in Population-Based Pediatric Studies—A Narrative Review. Pediatric Cardiology. doi:10.1007/s00246-020-02436-6